Monday, January 14, 2013

New Years!

Mutlu yıllar!
Happy New Years!

I figure this time I should write about how the holidays were here in Turkey.
Since Turkey is a Muslim country, most Turks do not celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or really anything but New Years in December and January. I was excited to see how a year without Christmas would be, especially since the American Christmas can be a bit too commercial and in your face sometimes. The Sunday before Christmas, the AFS students from Istanbul and the (relatively) nearby cities of Bursa and Sakarya threw a Christmas party in one of the Istanbul AFS offices. It was really nice seeing my friends from Bursa and Sakarya, especially because I don’t see them often. Our families came to the party and so did many AFS volunteers. Many of the kids made Christmas food from their countries, and it was nice to try the different foods :)
On Christmas, I had to go to school. This was interesting, because in the US we usually have a lot of vacations at this time of year and my last one was back at Bayram. Not much happened at school, which was pretty much what I thought would happen. I found out later that most of my exchange friends stayed home that day, but I didn’t regret going to school. I think when I am back in the US I will appreciate Christmas a lot more :)
New Years was a few days later (obviously) and we still had school on December 31st. I went to school and found out when I got there that what they meant by saying we had school was that it was optional and I was maybe one of 50 kids there. So I slept for a bit and then hung out with friends. That night, I Skyped with my mother and sister when 2013 arrived at Turkey and showed them the “glory” of the New Year. The next day I didn’t have school (finally) and I can’t remember what I did…
Last week, we had two snow days. Two in a row. All because it snowed for two days. In Turkey, it seems like when they have a snow day they have it after the fact. It snowed on Monday, but we had school. The next day was a snow day, which made sense because it was snowing like crazy. Wednesday we had another snow day, but there were only a few inches of snow on the ground and none on the road, so I have no idea why we had one.